Driders are half drow, half spider, all nightmare fuel. This week we’ll take a look at them and which merciless god would inflict them upon the world.
Spiders are already nightmarish as it is. But add to that an elf that’s very angry because they failed the ultimate test of their patron goddess? Well that, my friends, is fuel enough for a week’s worth of nightmares. I don’t know who has it worse, the Drider or the people facing the Drider, but it’s pretty tough on all sides. Check out Driders–let’s go back to where they began.
Driders are the centaur-like mixture of spiders and drow that happen when Lolth deems a drow not good enough at standardized drow tests. They are magically transformed into eight legged monsters with the torso, head, and arms of a drow and the everything-else of a proportionally large spider. Which makes driders basically the worst possible thing I could think of. They retain their magical and weapon using abilities, so an attacking drider may use spells, bows, axes, swords, or they could also bite you with an attack that could do poison damage and cause paralysis. Because, why not? Driders are so awful that even the drow don’t like them that much.
Second Edition gave us a reprieve from the driders, but they were back for third, terrifying as ever. This would have probably been undiscussed but understood in first edition, but considering their spider half driders have racial bonuses to hiding, moving silently, and climbing checks. They will also levitate away, another a horrible perk of having the bottom half of a spider, and cast spells at a 6th or higher level at their enemies while remaining out of reach.
Drider lore changes a little bit in 4E. Whereas this transformation was previously seen as a punishment for the weak, fourth edition gives driders a status of privilege among the drow as the strongest as most successful at Lolth’s tests. Encounter groups contain a mixture of driders and drow instead of these being two separate societies who hate each other. Driders also found a way to weaponize their spider webs in 4E, using it as a ranged weapon and a restraint.
Once again, fifth edition makes driders outcasts of the drow world. Many become hermits or wander the Underdark in pack of giant spiders, and many have been twisted or driven to madness by the transformation. They are as formidable an opponent as ever with advantage against being charmed or put to sleep, an Armor Class of 19, and multiattack, but their light sensitivity gives them disadvantage on certain rolls in sunlight. Maybe your group could lure one outside or find a magic spell that mimics sunlight.
Have you encountered a drider? How did your party fare against them? Did they have an army of giant spiders? Let us know in the comments!